Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tony and Melissa Marry At Revolution Mills in Greensboro

Mel and Tony have been together eight years, knowing each other since Latin class in their junior year of high school and keeping many of the same friends all this time. They've had times living apart in distant cities (two and a half years) and times together as they did that wonderful discovery after leaving home we each do of finding out who we really are on our own.

So many people came up to me after their ceremony on August 21st telling me that Mel and Tony had done it right. Here were their families, who'd also grown closer over the past eight years and all their friends from high school, college and work celebrating Tony and Mel's love. They got engaged in 2009 when Tony proposed at The Sacre Coeur in Paris. How wonderful is that! Now they've started their family with Lulu, the Beagle-Shepherd mix puppy and they've just gotten back from their honeymoon.

It's the first time I'd been to Revolution Mills in Greensboro. It has a classic beauty outside in the courtyard and the inside reminds me of a combination of Bay 7 at The American Tobacco Campus and The Cotton Room in downtown Durham. It's a renovated mill but this one has the courtyard that's a perfect place for a wedding.

Their dear friend, Carol Green of Down The Aisle With You, was their wedding coordinator and was great. We needed her because the layout of the seating was narrow and deep and Mel's and Tony's wedding party was large. But oh so pretty.

I love these pictures of their reception inside. It was jazzy and fun.

I don't officiate as much in Greensboro so don't know the vendors as well but I want to tell you their names because the reception looked like it would be fantastic. But I didn't stay, opting to be with my Sweetie. Tony and Mel said it was great!

Their photographers were Elisa Henry and Trey from inContrast - also family friends. But the pictures you see are mine. This is after the ceremony while Elisa was taking pictures. I hope to have some of theirs soon and if so, will add them to the blog.

Their cake was by Jennifer Nichols from Buy Me Cake. Their florist was Dell Nichols, their catering by Culinary Visions and their DJ was Brad Adler from DJParty4U.

Revolution Mills has a sound system in the courtyard that I could just plug my headset mic into. It was really handy. They were a huge support too, on the spot with assistance during the rehearsal and the wedding.

Melissa sent me a note after they returned from their honeymoon which said, 'I wanted to say thank you so much for everything you did. The wedding was incredible and we've gotten so many compliments on the ceremony and how personal and heart-felt it was. It went perfectly. ...
Thanks again for a perfect day; I can't thank you enough!!!'

It's a treat for me to thank them, too. They're a couple that's easy to love - openhearted, down to earth, easy going with the right priorities, and just fun. I wish them all the best!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gabe and Amy and Their 1000 Watt Smiles

Gabe told me about Amy's 1000 watt smile before I met them and I could see it. And his smile was just as radiant on their wedding day at The Carolina Inn on August 21st.

It was a small family wedding so was held inside in the Alumni Room and their reception in the Old Well Room. Amy's brother took their pictures.

I loved working with them and it was all long distance. We talked on the phone since they were in Washington DC and I was in Montreal at the time. Then just one month before their ceremony, they went on a safari to Africa - I believe it was Kenya. They've shared some wonderful adventures - last year the went to Macchu Pichu and hiked The Inca Trail. They want to get some good traveling in before they have children. What a wonderful store of memories they're already creating (as well as great pictures).

It was wonderful to work with Rachel from Bliss by Sam again. I always know that everything will go smoothly when she's there. She's always so positive, can handle all contingencies with grace and is generous of spirit.

A string duo from Arioso Strings played the very classic Pachelbel's Canon in D and The Wedding March for the recessional. As always, they were flawless.

This is truly a couple who embraces the world and it shows in their delight for what life offers, especially in their love for each other. Our final benediction was 'May you dwell together in peace, love and joy.' I say Amen to that.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Santiago and Anne in Spanish and English

On Aug 7th, Santiago and Anne had gathered their closest family and friends at The Celebrity Dairy in Siler City for the weekend to celebrate their marriage.

Santiago's family is from Argentina and he and Anne met while Anne was studying in Argentina. Now, after more than six years later and after having lived in DC and Vancouver, Santiago is studying for his Ph.D. in Spanish at UNC .

Because some family did not speak both languages, and because the language of their heart was different for Santiago and Anne, they decided that their ceremony needed to be done in both English and Spanish. Anne would say her vows in English and Santiago would say his in Spanish. How best to do this?

Here is where Sarah entered the picture and was not only a huge help but her presence was a delight. Also a Ph.D. student in Spanish at UNC, she officiated with me. After each paragraph that I offered in English, she offered the same paragraph in Spanish. We practiced inflection and timing together and it was a treat to be able to be so much more inclusive with her help than we ever could have been with the ceremony spoken in only one language.

And The Celebrity Dairy was a wonderful location for their intimate family gathering. Easy and comfortable, we strung wires for the sound system where we needed to and started when everyone was ready.

Wonderful photographer Robin Lin took all the pictures you see here.
Oh - the wedding party entered to the music 'Te busco y te encuentro.' It was especially lovely.

At the end of the ceremony, as is in the first picture, we showered them with rose petals, a wonderful change from the custom of throwing rice.

Sugarland Bakery in Chapel Hill created their delicious cake. Celebrity Dairy also did their catering, and their excellent DJ (thank you Darren for all your help) was Darren Hunicutt.

Here's a picture of the Dairy you don't see often. I've never done a ceremony on their front porch. I usually do them on the left side of the house on the lawn, but it looks possible and the porch is also great for hanging out.

I wish them all the best as they take this new step into marriage. I have do doubts that they will do fine.

Chad and Jill Marry at The Angus Barn Pavillons

In late April Chad and Jill married at the Angus Barn. We were so lucky. A storm front was moving in so we started the wedding a little early and were grateful to have the reception well in hand before it arrived. Thank you to the wonderful staff at The Angus Barn for helping us start a little early to ensure good weather. Luckily Chad and Jill had arranged that guests have cocktails at the pavilion before the ceremony to be followed by a sunset ceremony. So everyone was already there.

Kevin Milz, their wonderful photographer, captured these amazing pictures of the ceremony. See his blog for more pictures. I thank him for sending these to me.

I love this venue first because it's so spacious. The vista over the water is lovely, yet it's quieter than a public venue on a lake. There's room for a large wedding party without it feeling cramped (Chad and Jill had eight attendants on each side) and room for lots of guests. Then the reception site has two open walls for a full outdoor feeling, but a field stone fireplace and wood paneling for that cozy warm natural materials feeling.

I was delighted for Chad and Jill. They had a wonderful spark between them and were interested in growing together and making their marriage the best it could be. They had put tremendous thought and care into their planning. Our only disappointment was that Chad's parents could not come down to NC at the last minute because of complications in his mother's health.

They chose the wonderful classic poetry of Lord Byron (She Walks in Beauty) and Anne Bradstreet (To My Dear and Loving Husband) to be read by two dear friends of theirs who are themselves happily married.
And I loved their vows which included: 'I take you with all of your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with all of my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.'

They also chose wonderfully upbeat music for their ceremony: Chad, the best man, and I entered to Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love,' the Bride's mother entered to James Taylor's 'How Sweet It Is', the wedding party entered to Peter Gabriel's 'In Your Eyes,' and Jill entered on Tom Petty's 'Here Comes My Girl.' We all loved it.

I wish them all the best and hope I run across them in the future. They both had a wonderful twinkle in their eyes every time I saw them and I bet it will still be there.